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Details of crimes raise heat against Revannas

By, Bengaluru
May 04, 2024 07:28 AM IST

Revanna, who is ostensibly in Germany, was booked for rape after a second complaint came from a 44-year-old political worker of JD(S) on Thursday.

A woman accused Prajwal Revanna of blackmailing and raping her on several occasions since 2021, according to a police FIR, and the family members of another woman seen in one of the thousands of videos of purported sexual assaults said on Friday that she has gone missing, in new allegations that appeared to tighten the noose around the Hassan member of Parliament and his MLA father HD Revanna.

JDS MP Prajwal Revanna. (PTI)
JDS MP Prajwal Revanna. (PTI)

A special investigation team (SIT) is probing allegations of mass sexual abuse against Prajwal Revanna, who was suspended from the Janata Dal (Secular) but is the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate for the Hassan Lok Sabha constituency. He is the grandson of former prime minister HD Deve Gowda.

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The allegations of sexual abuse emerged in the hours following polling for the Hassan Lok Sabha seat, with close to 3,000 videos purportedly showing some of these incidents, leading the state government to put together an SIT.

Revanna, who is ostensibly in Germany, was booked for rape after a second complaint came from a 44-year-old political worker of JD(S) on Thursday, accusing the 33-year-old of sexual assault.

The complaint detailed for the first time the shocking extent of the allegations. The victim said the MP raped her first in 2021 at his official quarters after threatening to kill her and her husband. He allegedly recorded the first assault and used it to blackmail her on several occasions thereafter.

“He has sexually assaulted me multiple times in these years, blackmailing me that he would make the video public,” she alleged in the FIR, which HT has seen.

On Friday, the son of another woman, who was allegedly abused on camera, alleged that she was kidnapped on April 29. The KR Nagar police station in Mysuru filed an FIR based on the complaint against HD Revanna. The victim’s son alleged that she had gone missing after she was taken away by an individual close to the Revanna family, identified as Satish Babanna.

The latest complaint alleged that Babanna had dropped his mother, who worked at HD Revanna’s residence in Holenarsipur for six years, at their home on the morning of April 26, warning them not to speak to police.

Babbana returned on the instructions of HD Revanna, and forcibly took away the woman on his motorcycle, the complaint added. She has been missing since and at least five special teams of the SIT are now searching for her, an officer said, asking not to be named.

Senior officers said that police have arrested Babanna under sections 364A (kidnap) and 365 (forceful restrain) of the Indian Penal Code and that he has been sent to judicial custody. HD Revanna has not given a statement on the allegations so far. HT tried to reach out to him but  he was not available for a comment.

The first complaint was filed on Saturday night, a day after voting, when a woman alleged she was abused at the Revannas’ residence between 2019 and 2022. The SIT sent notices to both men on April 28, to which Prajwal asked for a week to respond, since “he was out of Bengaluru”. The SIT, however, rejected the request, and issued a lookout notice against him on Tuesday.

A political slugfest, meanwhile, continued with Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah continuing to reiterate that both the BJP and the JD(S), who are fighting the Lok Sabha polls in an alliance, knew about Prajwal Revanna’s videos.

“Prajwal Revanna’s case is not just sexual harassment. He has raped women. A rape case has been registered (against him),” he said.

Former chief minister and JD(S) state president Kumaraswamy dismissed attempts to drag former PM Deve Gowda’s name into the issue. “You might not know or have forgotten how he (Deve Gowda) has led his life. We have said several times now that whoever has done wrong things should face punishment,” he said.

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